Talking to God this morning about myself and about people. Shedding some tears and bearing my soul. Some of the tears are for the people and some are just tears because I doubt that God is listening in the way I want Him to.
Ever been there?
I know God hears and I also know enough theology to understand some things about sovereignty and holiness. I can quote Bible verses at God like I sometimes do to people. I know He is listening because my life is hidden in Christ who Is in God. Christ is seated at God's right hand in Heaven as we speak so I know I have an audience. Yet...
This closeness reveals my depravity. I am undone in the presence of holiness. I weep because I sometimes feel like a dirty fraud. I weep for myself and then repent because I am so selfish.
"Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem." - 2 Chronicles 1:14 ESV
"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity... I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind... Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14, 2:11 ESV
God came through for Solomon and Israel in so many ways. The land was prospering and so was Solomon. Solomon was a powerful, rich and wise man. But he was miserable at this stage of his life.
You can say that Solomon was saying that believing God has value and Earthly accomplishments are vain. You can make him sound spiritual if you want to but I think he is just miserable because God isn't blessing the work of 'his' hands. Solomon is blessed because of Abraham. Isaac and David his father and not because of Solomon.
Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen in his little nation the size of New Jersey. He was a powerful man that could direct that power but it wasn't ever going to be about him and his plan.
"He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done." - 1 Kings 11:3-6 ESV
Idolatry is when we look for Gods that will bless our plans.
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ" - Ephesians 1:2-9 ESV
Yes. Knowing this I become a spiritual optimist.
Tears of frustration become tears of joy.
God isn't going to bless the people I'm praying for based on me. They need work, comfort, companionship and hope and I can move my Earthly chariots (if I have them) in positions to defend them but the bottom line is that God must come through for them and in a very real way He already has. He came through long before we were born. That victory was revealed Easter morning when a man rose from the grave.
That victory can be manifested in our moments. That is what I find myself asking for.
I pray a 'grace be unto you and peace' prayer based on the risen Son... not based on myself. I start with myself sometimes but God shifts me to Jesus. I realize that the only reason I even care is because He cares and Is moving me to pray and weep.
I come clean about my selfishness and God cleanses me with His grace and mercy.
God has covered me with His robe of righteousness. My tears are dry.
Thank you God... a thousand times over... 'Thank You.'